When I received this promo, I was surprised of two things. For one, how should a movie work, where two rather different bad guys meet? Secondly, what should I think of a soundtrack to this movie that almost half way is filled with Nu-Metal bands?
I cannot answer the first question, unfortunately, as I have not heard anything of the movie in Germany and Europe. Maybe somebody could let me know, if it already is in the theatres in the States?
The second question is a lot easier to answer, even though also here some surprises await me. Who knows me, knows that Nu-Metal is not my favourite style (to say the least). The opener "How Can I Live" by ILL NINO, though, is pretty good. Just like 9 others of the 20 songs this track has not been released before. Does not sound bad at all. The same goes for the following songs by KILLSWITCH ENGAGE (similarities to MACHINE HEAD) and SPINESHANK (melodic, nice vocals). With MUSHROOMHEAD I have my first problem. Why does every second band nowadays sound like NICKELBACK? Folks, do you all have the same singer?? The guy must make a lot of cash! HATEBREED are more to my liking afterwards. Heavy, riff-laden mid-tempo Thrash that bolts out of the speakers so sharply that you have the feeling that Freddy Krueger sliced through your ear drums in person. Cool.
Then grit your teeth. SLIPKNOT let loose and I take cover. The guys area heavy, but somehow nothing comes through to me. Something is unnerving me a lot. There is nothing that sticks. In the course of the album I can also check off the songs of bands like POWERMAN 5000 (quite electronically littered), SEETHER (aren't that NIRVANA?), DEVILDRIVER (evil or what?), THE BLANK THEORY (bland and exchangeable) or NOTHINGFACE (oh, FAITH NO MORE are back, too), with the same result. Even SEPULTURA with Mike Patton cannot convince with "The Waste". That sounds very negative now, but there also are some spots of light. The MURDERDOLLS surprise me with the strong and energetic "Welcome To The Strange", which I would call the best song on "Freddy vs. Jason". The donations by SEVENDUST and STONE SOUR sound very good and I won't have to say much about the already known songs, "Trigger" by IN FLAMES and "(We Were) Electrocute" by TYPE O NEGATIVE. I think that by now TYPE O NEGATIVE sound a lot like PARADISE LOST during their "Draconian Times" era, or am I right?
My conclusion is, as expected, rather split. Roundabout half the bands can convince with good to very good songs, the other half cannot. Most bands get plusses for good production and fat sound. Minusses are awarded mostly for the vocalists. Why do they all have to sound the same or at least similar? For sure 80% good vocalists, but always copying others doesn't do it. Also some tracks just lack variation.
This sampler was the exact right thing to re-think my standpoint towards Nu-Metal. And I must say that not much has changed. Some songs have left a positive impression or surprised me nicely, others rather confirmed my negative stance. If I had to rate the bands as a whole, then they would get a rating somewhere between 4 and 7. Friends of Nu-Metal-Sounds should still get this soundtrack as tastes are different. The amount of previously unreleased material and the long playing time also can be viewed as a reason for recommendation. The rest should risk an ear or maybe rather wait for the movie.
Check out tips: MURDERDOLLS - "Welcome To The Strange", IN FLAMES - "Trigger".... (Online August 28, 2003)